KiwiSaver is a voluntary New Zealand government savings scheme that sets aside contributions from you and your employer. Being part of this scheme is a great way to boost your savings and prevent you from overspending on things you don’t need.
You can use your KiwiSaver account as part of a deposit on a first home. In order to qualify, there are a few conditions.
- You must have been contributing to a KiwiSaver account for at least three years
- You must have contributed at least 3% of your income during this time
- If you are not a first home buyer, but are purchasing a second mortgage, you may still be eligible to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver funds if you are in the same financial position as first home buyers
- Your KiwiSaver funds can be used as part of the 10% initial deposit, but will only be available as part of settlement. You can apply for a deposit bond in order to use your KiwiSaver funds beforehand. The bigger your deposit, the smaller your home loan.
- After you use KiwiSaver funds to buy your first home, you must leave at least $1000 in your account
Getting More with a KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant
The HomeStart Grant is an extra boost for eligible first time homeowners.
- You must earn less than $85,000 for a single owner or $130,000 for two people combined
- You must be buying a property less than $600,000 in Auckland, $500,000 in other metropolitan areas or $400,000 in rural New Zealand.
- You must intend on living in the house for at least the first six months after purchase
- You can receive a $1000 grant per year you have been contributing to your KiwiSaver account, up to $5,000 for five years.
- You can combine this grant with an eligible partner for up to $10,000
- If you are building off-plan or a new development, your HomeStart Grant may be doubled.
KiwiSaver is an excellent way to build up savings, and can be used to help you buy your first home in addition to a home loan. If you meet certain spending and income limits, you might be eligible for an extra grant.
Even if you’re not sure if you want to buy a house yet, enroll in KiwiSaver. It’s a good idea to get started with savings now, and after three years of contributions you can see what a difference it has made.
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